Man Convicted of National Security Crimes in Iran for proselytizing the Baha’i Faith


           The Appeal Court in Iran’s Kurdistan Province upheld a one-year prison sentence against Zabihollah Raoufi, who was accused of proselytizing the Baha’i Faith.

          The charges against the 69-year-old shopkeeper were “propaganda against the state”, “assembly and collusion against national security, and promoting Baha’ism”.

          Raoufi’s wife, Parvaneh Rahimi, has also been sentenced to a year prison for the charge of “proselytizing the Baha’i Faith” and is awaiting a decision on her appeal.

          The Baha’is have been warned by the authorities that they should not proselytize the Baha’ism to non-Baha’is.

          Iran Constitution does not recognize the Baha’i Faith as a religion. The Article 23 states that “no one may be molested or taken to task for holding a certain belief”. 

          Raoufi was previously arrested in 2009 and sentenced to six months in prison for the same charge of proselytizing the Baha’ism and propaganda against the state. 

          His latest arrest was carried out by Intelligence Ministry agents in Sanandaj in May 2015. He was released on bail after a week of interrogations.

          Raoufi’s preliminary trial took place on November 24, 2015. Five days later, his wife was arrested and sentenced to 1 year prison by a preliminary court.

          In May 2018, the Baha’i International Community (BIC) at the United Nations expressed its protest against the limitations of Baha’is in Iran.



          This NGO (Baha’i International Community) has an irritating role for the Bahais of Iran. While according to the Bahai religious orders and teachings, the Bahais should obey the governmental rules in the countries they live; and the Bahais in Iran have been informed that while they are allowed to celebrate their internal meetings and personal duties, any proselytizing of the Baha’i faith is strictly prohibited; yet the Bahai International Community NGO, the external face of Universal House of Justice, by hiding the prohibited cultish proselytizing Baha’i in Iran, introduces false allegations to the Iranian government and the judiciary department.

   For more information in this regard see our article “The Iranian Bahais in the Court”.

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